Huffpost Taste

The Best Bottled Iced Coffee: Our Taste Test Results

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When you're craving a shot of energy in the morning (or afternoon, or night ...), you crave it right now. You want something you can just throw back with no effort, but it takes too long to brew up a pot of coffee and wait for it to chill down. This is when store-bought iced coffees come into play.

We tasted the top-selling brands in the United States to determine which is the best! Bottled coffees aren't exactly our first choice when it comes to methods of self-caffeinating, because most options are so sugary and milky that they borderline on becoming chocolate milk. We'd rather have a homemade cup of joe, but we realize it's not always possible -- so we put these quicker options to the test.

So ... what's the best option? Check out our review of nine different brands below to see what we thought. How does your favorite stack up? Let us know in the comments section below.

Note: As with all of our taste tests, the brands involved are not affiliated with us, and have not sponsored the experiment.

  • #1: Bustelo -- Cool Premium Beverages
    Joseph Erdos/The Huffington Post
    Available flavors: Café Mocha, Café Con Leche Comments: "The mocha flavor is amazing." "Nice, good flavor." "Pretty sweet and milky, and it could taste a little more like coffee." "Overall it has a really pleasing taste." "Very drinkable. Light taste and thin texture."
  • #2: Illy -- Issimo Italian Espresso Style Coffee Drink
    Joseph Erdos/The Huffington Post
    Available flavors: Cappuccino, Caffe, Mochaccino, Latte Macchiato Comments: "Nice and coffee-y! I appreciate that they have a non-dairy flavor." "The flavored versions are not so good, but the plain coffee is nice." "Could be less milky. It's sweet, creamy and not very strong." "Not too sweet, but it has unpleasant bitter notes."
  • #3: Seattle's Best Coffee -- Premium Coffee Drink
    Joseph Erdos/The Huffington Post
    Available flavors: Iced Latte, Iced Vanilla Latte, Iced Mocha Comments: "So, so sweet." "This was watery, and it tasted like it used creamer." "Subtle."
  • Tied For #4: Starbucks -- Double Shot Premium Coffee Drink
    Joseph Erdos/The Huffington Post
    Available flavors: Espresso & Cream Comments: "Nice coffee flavor." "Standard. Not too sweet, but there's a weird aftertaste." "Tastes like real coffee."
  • Tied For #4: Wolfgang Puck -- Culinary Iced Coffee
    Joseph Erdos/The Huffington Post
    Available flavors: Café au Lait, Crème Caramel Comments: "Decent, but too sweet." "I can tell this is Starbucks frappuccino!" [Editor's note: Ha!] "Wweet and syrupy." "Milky and sweet. It almost tastes like chocolate milk." "Very sweet, like a milkshake -- in a good way."
  • #5: Emmi -- Caffé Latte
    Joseph Erdos/The Huffington Post
    Available flavors: Cappuccino, Mocha, Light Comments: "Very milky, but the flavors are okay." "This is chocolate milk, not coffee." "Yummy ... nice sweetness!"
  • #6: Starbucks -- Frappuccino
    Joseph Erdos/The Huffington Post
    Available flavors: Vanilla, Coffee, Caramel Comments: "Almost unbearably sweet." "I like the caramel flavor, but the others are too sugary." "Vaguely reminiscent of Yoo-hoo."
  • #7: Starbucks -- Double Shot Energy + Coffee
    Joseph Erdos/The Huffington Post
    Available flavors: Coffee, Vanilla Comments: "Very milky -- almost kahlua-y." "Super sweet, in general." "This tastes like sugar water."
  • #8: Adina -- Barista Brews
    Joseph Erdos/The Huffington Post
    Available flavors: Double XXpresso, Mocha Madness Comments: "Tastes like a potpourri candle." "Tastes strangely like sour water." "There's a strange fruity, coconut flavor."

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